Boy, Oh, Boy
The Geto Boys, the seminal Houston rap group comprised of Bushwick Bill, Scarface, and Willie D, have had enough with rogue cops. And they’re going to let people know all about it in verse with their first studio album in more than a decade, to be released possibly as early as March 2016. “It’s important to recognize that cops aren’t just thugging out on black people,” Willie D said. “They’re thugging out on whites and Latinos too. Many of them think cop is an acronym for ‘Control and Oppress People.’ We’re going to speak with candor and tell the truth about why things are the way they are, and we’re going to offer sage solutions.” As a way to rally fans and promote their new material, the Geto Boys have embarked on a national tour that has already passed through Houston but will hit Austin on Saturday and Dallas on Sunday. It’s called the Office Space Tour, an homage to Austin filmmaker Mike Judge’s 1999 cult classic, Office Space, which featured three of their songs, including “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta.” Willie D said the new album—which will follow a new Scarface solo album, Deeply Rooted, out in August—is about unifying society, not dividing it. “The album will be classic Geto Boys and that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
Mohawk on June 13 and House of Blues on June 14, getoboys.net
Getting the Blues
According to WebMD.com, blueberries are number two on the list of “10 Nutrient-Rich Super Foods.” Consuming the tiny indigo orbs is thought to protect one’s body from cell damage and inflammation, and the phytochemicals contained therein may, in fact, thwart cancer and heart disease. That should be reason enough to attend Saturday’s twenty-sixth annual Texas Blueberry Festival, a celebration of the blueberry harvest in Nacogdoches County, considered the top-producing county in the state. Another reason is that blueberries taste pretty darn good. Start the morning of the festival off with blueberry pancakes and end it with blueberry pie. In the interim, take a free shuttle to a nearby farm and pick blueberries for $1.50 per pound, or join Cowboy Max, one of many scheduled performers, in a rendition of his song “Blueberry Fields Forever.” Everybody, sing along: “They’re high in flavor and low in fat, no cholesterol or any of that / So y’all come down and stuff your face / ’Cause we got blueberries all over the place.”
Downtown, June 13, 8 a.m., texasblueberryfestival.com
Lip-Synchers, Be Damned
Contrary to many of today’s broadcasts of live musical performances, where the singers lip-synch their way through it, Austin City Limits puts a premium on pure musicianship. Perhaps that is why it is the longest-running music program in television history and the only TV show to have been awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts. The best of the best performers featured during the show’s forty seasons will be feted on Thursday at the second Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Benefit Concert. The acts who will join last year’s inaugural inductees—Willie Nelson and Steve Ray Vaughan, among others—are western swing band Asleep at the Wheel, singer-songwriters Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, accordionist Flaco Jiménez, and country songstress Loretta Lynn, who is the first non-Texan inductee. The country singer Dwight Yoakam will host the evening, which is full of musical performances by Americana royalty including Jason Isbell, Gillian Welch, and Lyle Lovett—the latter no doubt a future inductee.
Austin City Limits Live, June 18, 7 p.m., acl-live.com
Visitors to Tomato Fest should take note when entering the host town of Jacksonville. There, attached to the town’s welcome sign, is a remnant of the giant bowl used in 2010 to hold 2,672 pounds of salsa derived from area tomatoes, earning the Guinness World Record for the Largest Bowl of Salsa—a distinction that still stands today. Tomatoes were the primary crop in Jacksonville during the first half of the twentieth century, during which it was regarded as the “Tomato Capital of the World.” That claim to fame will be celebrated once again this year at the thirty-first annual Tomato Fest. The versatile fruit will be the subject of a Tomato Shoot, in which BB guns are used to splatter their targets, and a Tomato Peeling Contest, in which participants can use only their teeth.
Commerce Street, June 13, 9 a.m., jacksonvilletexas.com
Encountering a rattlesnake is practically a rite of passage for Texans, and while the wildly popular Rattlesnake Round-up, in Sweetwater, is where you can see an abundance on display, the fourth annual Snake Days, a conference with snake trading, a fake snake contest, and lectures like “Primates and Snakes—An 80 Million Year Dialog,” is where you can truly earn your stripes as a herpetologist, or “herper,” with heart-pumping nighttime hunts for rattlers and other breeds.
St. James Hall, June 12-14, snakedays.com
The rain is gone and the hot summer sun is finally here, just in time for the twentieth annual Killis Melton Ice Cream Crank-Off, where ice cream is made the old-fashioned way, with a churn that requires ice, salt, and a lot of elbow grease to freeze one’s milky concoction, yielding samples certain to sate Blue Bell fans feeling the void.
Chestnut Square Historic Village, June 13, 10 a.m., chestnutsquare.org